Leah Forbus
Staff Writer

To spite the cold weather, students can find warm drinks and hot music at Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria this evening. The popular Knoxville bar is hosting the Third Annual Winter Jamfest, a concert sponsored by Terrapin Beer Company and Leeway’s Home Grown Music Network. Jamfest has been touring local establishments all over the Southeast since the beginning of January offering multi-band bills for reasonable prices.
One of the goals of the tour is to take the excitement of summer music festivals and project it into the dreary winter months. Terrapin Beer Co., whose motto is “Get in Tune With Your Taste,” will be providing beer to accompany the welcoming atmosphere and great music.
First to perform will be DJ Dirty Digits, an experienced local DJ. Then the headliners — six-piece jam band Moonshine Still — will take the stage. Formed in the summer of 1996, Moonshine Still has a seamless sound. With a style that ranges from soul to techno, their live performances are unmatched.
“We experiment a great deal as a band. Lately, we’ve been listening to the Flaming Lips, Radiohead and Peter Gabriel,” Moonshine Still bass player Ray Petren said.
With such diverse influences, it is no surprise that their sound is so eclectic. After playing several shows throughout North Carolina last week, Moonshine Still is well prepared for tonight’s performance.
“We have been touring every week Thursday through Saturday all over the Southeast,” Petren said.
As a band, their aspirations for Jamfest are similar to Terrapin’s.
“We feel like Jamfest is a great way to do a festival-feeling show in the middle of the wintertime,” he said. “It is safe to say that Moonshine Still will be bringing their best to everyone who comes out tonight.”
This being the third Jamfest tour, it has definitely evolved over the past couple years into a bigger and better musical celebration than the original. “Newer, bigger bands with more edge are joining in, so more people are coming,” said Seth Weiner, publicist and marketing director for Shimon Presents, a company specializing in grassroots marketing and publicity.
And more people are turning out, as well.
“Everyone’s bringing a chunk of their own fan base,” Petren said.
Winter Jamfest has also provided some charity organizations with a way to raise awareness for their causes.
“Foundations being present has also really added to the festival vibe — Jamfest is not just a show,” Weiner said.
Rock the Earth and The Big House Foundation are two of the organizations connected with Jamfest this year.
“Rock the Earth will have representatives at the merch table collecting donations, getting memberships and educating folks about their cause,” Weiner said.
So if a warm atmosphere and cool social scene strike your fancy, or if you’re looking for inexpensive live music, head down to Barley’s tonight at 10 and check out Terrapin’s Winter Jamfest 2007.